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Tapping the biotechnological potential of insect microbial symbionts: new insecticidal porphyrins

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Microbiology, June 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (69th percentile)

Mentioned by

10 tweeters
2 Facebook pages


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Readers on

22 Mendeley
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Tapping the biotechnological potential of insect microbial symbionts: new insecticidal porphyrins
Published in
BMC Microbiology, June 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12866-017-1054-y
Pubmed ID

Ana Flávia Canovas Martinez, Luís Gustavo de Almeida, Luiz Alberto Beraldo Moraes, Fernando Luís Cônsoli


The demand for sustainable agricultural practices and the limited progress toward newer and safer chemicals for use in pest control maintain the impetus for research and identification of new natural molecules. Natural molecules are preferable to synthetic organic molecules because they are biodegradable, have low toxicity, are often selective and can be applied at low concentrations. Microbes are one source of natural insecticides, and microbial insect symbionts have attracted attention as a source of new bioactive molecules because these microbes are exposed to various selection pressures in their association with insects. Analytical techniques must be used to isolate and characterize new compounds, and sensitive analytical tools such as mass spectrometry and high-resolution chromatography are required to identify the least-abundant molecules. We used classical fermentation techniques combined with tandem mass spectrometry to prospect for insecticidal substances produced by the ant symbiont Streptomyces caniferus. Crude extracts from this bacterium showed low biological activity (less than 10% mortality) against the larval stage of the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda. Because of the complexity of the crude extract, we used fractionation-guided bioassays to investigate if the low toxicity was related to the relative abundance of the active molecule, leading to the isolation of porphyrins as active molecules. Porphyrins are a class of photoactive molecules with a broad range of bioactivity, including insecticidal. The active fraction, containing a mixture of porphyrins, induced up to 100% larval mortality (LD50 = 37.7 μg.cm(-2)). Tandem mass-spectrometry analyses provided structural information for two new porphyrin structures. Data on the availability of porphyrins in 67 other crude extracts of ant ectosymbionts were also obtained with ion-monitoring experiments. Insect-associated bacterial symbionts are a rich source of bioactive compounds. Exploring microbial diversity through mass-spectrometry analyses is a useful approach for isolating and identifying new compounds. Our results showed high insecticidal activity of porphyrin compounds. Applications of different experiments in mass spectrometry allowed the characterization of two new porphyrins.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 10 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 22 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 22 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 23%
Student > Master 5 23%
Student > Bachelor 3 14%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 9%
Other 1 5%
Other 4 18%
Unknown 2 9%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 8 36%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 5 23%
Unspecified 1 5%
Environmental Science 1 5%
Medicine and Dentistry 1 5%
Other 1 5%
Unknown 5 23%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 5. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 18 January 2018.
All research outputs
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Outputs from BMC Microbiology
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from BMC Microbiology
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Altmetric has tracked 12,384,832 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 75th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,825 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 3.8. This one has done well, scoring higher than 79% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 266,365 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them